Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage. Cameron’s inspiration for the film came from his fascination with shipwrecks; he felt a love story interspersed with the human loss would be essential to convey the emotional impact of the disaster.
Production began in 1995, when Cameron shot footage of the actual Titanic wreck. The modern scenes on the research vessel were shot on board the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, which Cameron had used as a base when filming the wreck. Scale models, computer-generated imagery, and a reconstruction of the Titanic built at Baja Studios, at Playas de Rosarito in Baja California were used to re-create the sinking. The film was partially funded by Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox; the former handled distribution in North America while Fox released the film internationally. It was the most expensive film ever made at the time, with a production budget of $200 million.